Lara tip finally cleared
THE LAST truckload of waste left Lara’s notorious illegal tip site on Broderick Road this week, marking the end of a three-year clean-up effort led by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that has cost taxpayers more than $71 million.
Labelled as the state’s largest fire risk and one of the biggest remediation projects of its kind in Victorian history, an estimated 286,200 cubic metres of assorted waste has been trucked off the site since the EPA seized control of it in April 2019.
The City of Greater Geelong had previously spent years attempting to shut the site down after several planning permit breaches by operator C&D Recycling, but the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered that a permanent planning permit be issued.
It was not until 2019 when C&D Recycling and the site’s owners went into liquidation that the EPA stepped in, and the Victorian government allocated a $100 million budget to clean up the site.
“In places, the pile was 20 metres high,” EPA chief executive officer Lee Miezis said.
Close to 10 per cent of the onsite waste was able to be recycled, EPA project manager Michael Fitzgerald said, including 22,000 cubic metres of timber, 2,000 cubic metres of concrete and 70 large tyres.
The remaining waste was considered to be contaminated, including with asbestos, and had to be sent to landfill.